Watch Out For Smiling Ladies…

Working with a small magazine means that I, as the editor, get a lot of other magazines landing on my desk. Although, I love magazines, I seldom have the time to read, or even go through, them all. So, I really do not know why I began flipping through the pages of the latest issue of Arrive, May/June 2011. For those of you who do not know, Arrive is a publication published by AMTRAK (a blend of ‘America’ and ‘track’), which in other words is the National Railroad Passenger Corporation in the USA.

So, I started to read Arrive, maybe because of the smiling First Lady on the front cover; she caught my eyes and lured me into the magazine. And what do you know, on pages 50-55 I actually found an article about rowing on the Charles River in Boston, “River Bound”.

How very exciting, I thought – at first…. Then I read the first sentence and I sort of knew that reading this article could become a trying experience for a lover of rowing: “Boston’s Charles River is home to the Harvard crew team and….” stop, stop, and stop!!! To say “crew team” is redundant (read rowing historian Bill Miller’s explanations here, especially No. 2).

I continued to read the article. Just some sentences after the first one, I stopped reading again, because: “Every 15 seconds, another boater starts his 3-mile race.” Yes, I do know that “boater” can mean someone being out boating, but I cannot help thinking of my nice boater, the hat that I lost many years ago and which I wrote about the other day. The next sentence in the article reads: “I spot single and double sculls, two-, three [I say, very unlikely!], four- and eight-oared crews, many of them elite paddlers…” No, I would not dare to say that any “elite” oarsmen and –women would be “paddlers”. You paddle in a kayak or a canoe, and if you are doing it in a shell, you are probably not rowing or sculling very seriously.

Now I was feeling a little uneasy, where was this fellow, writing this piece, going to take me? On the next page was a major blunder: “Home to the 1852 Harvard-Yale [of course, a yalie would write ‘Yale-Harvard’] crew race, the first intercollegiate sporting event of any kind in America, the Charles….” – now, we all know that the first race between these universities was not on the Charles, but on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire!

Let me stop here, because the article just continues the same way: “paddlers”, “racing sculls” [he means “shells”; “sculls” are the oars], “crew teams”, etc.

Well, now you are warned, if you still would like to read this article, click on “River Bound”.

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